Forget Resolutions, Focus on Changing Your Story
Let go of the outcome, success is in the commitment to the process.
As 2021 gets closer, we start to question our habits and routines and embark on a journey to a better self. We set New Year’s Resolutions that fail and leave us back at zero or even worse off.
When committing to change, we focus on the broken parts of ourselves that need to be fixed. We look at the bad, and attempt to be less bad.
If you want to make a change for good in 2021 you have to give up your story. The story of the old you, is dead. You are not that person anymore, stop allowing those thoughts and behaviors to control you. You are not a victim You are a survivor. Focus on what matters most, right now.
It Starts With Our Identity
Our identity is more than just our personality. It is our story and beliefs we tell ourselves about who we are. It is made up of perceived memories, experiences, qualities and values, that shape who we are today.
Do you ever think, “we are who we are”. Is this true? Or is is it a self-fulfilling prophecy. When you say, “I can NEVER do that” — you prove yourself right and you never do that.
It’s not because you are incapable, you are choosing to give up and to remain the same.
Whether you can actually do whatever it is, is not the point. When you challenge the story in your head, you are empowered and recognize the potential you never knew existed.
Stop Holding Yourself Back
You are not stuck. You are telling yourself you are stuck.
Blaming environments, circumstances, or others won’t get you what you want. Everything you say might be true, but it doesn’t change the reality. The only thing you can control is what you believe about yourself.
If you want to change your life, you have to change you thoughts. Accept your limitations and focus on your strengths. Both are powerful tools that make us who we are but the focus on limiting beliefs is what holds you back.
Our brains are hardwired to focus on the negative. Our intrinsic “fight or flight” system has evolved us to survive dangers in the world. Great, if what we were fighting and fleeing wasn’t our hopes and dreams. Our fear of the unknown, causes us to emphasize on why we can’t, instead of having courage to ask “what if I can”.
Focus On What You Do Well
“Anything done in excellence is because people are playing to their strengths, not working on remediation……we need to start with what we do right, and find a way to do more of that.” -Dan Cable, Exceptional
We spend our lives trying to fix ourselves. We believe something is wrong or bad and it spurs action to be remedied immediately. We criticize and focus on the negative habits searching to change the outcome.
When you are trying to fix the bad, the outcome determine your actions. We form processes and habits to achieve your goal based on results. This doesn’t work. When the action is not aligned with who you believe yourself to be you will only be driven by results. When there is no clear and immediate reward, you give up or move on.
When we tap into what we do well, we are motivated to push ourselves further. We become resilient in hard times or failure, because we are not driven by fear, but by the opportunity of what can happen. We feel safe to explore the possibilities and keep a growth mindset when we don’t get it right on the first time.
Reward the Journey
Let’s say you want to lose weight. You are someone who finds joy and comfort in cooking, but recently don’t feel great about your pants getting tighter. You give up your favorite foods and go on a juice cleanse in attempt to reach your goal.
After two weeks of starvation you’ve only lost a pound. Hopeless, you binge on all your favorite things you have restricted. Hopeless, shame, and failure fill your head and begins a pattern loop.
Is this really true? Are you a failure or was your approach flawed?
Instead focusing on the negative you must change, lose weight now, you focus on the process in which go to get closer to your goal.
You recognize you are not happy with your current situation. You understand yourself to know the extreme idea of existing on solely liquids forever and you will never be able to resist your favorite food.
This time, you cater to your strengths, take your love of cooking and food, and get curious on how you can make healthier versions of the foods you love, use different spices to add flavor. and explore something new. You allow yourself flexibility to enjoy and indulge and get off track but you don’t beat yourself up and you continue on.
Do you lose all the weight in those first two weeks? No. But you make progress. Celebrate the near win. Keep going. It is in the sustained pursuit, not the accomplishment that you find success.
You have to give up having something right now in order to have something that lasts.
Reflect On Who You Were To Become Who You Want to Be
“Your behaviors are usually a reflection of your identity” -James Clear, Atomic Habits
Whatever your goal, it has to be driven by what you authentically believe about yourself. You have to explore your past and take inventory of the experiences that have shaped you.
What are your values, motivations, actions, strengths, weaknesses?
What has made you successful?
What was the process that helped you achieve this?
When is a time you have failed?
What did you learn?
How did you overcome it?
You have to be completely honest with yourself about who you are, where you’ve been, what stood in your way and what helped you achieve in order to make a habit a routine.
GIve Up What You Can't Control
If 2020 has any key takeaways for us, is that we are not in complete control. No matter how strong, rich, or powerful we are, there will always unforeseen obstacles and challenges in our way.
Freedom comes from accepting you cannot control everything. When you focus on what you can control: your attitude, your thoughts, your actions and reactions; you are empowered to take on challenges and find strength in the ability to pivot, adapt and evolve with the change and avoid getting stuck.
Stop Being Influenced. Set Your Own Standard for Success
We often look outside ourselves to find a standard of a good life. We let other people’s view of success define our own. This leaves us in a perpetual mindset of lack.
Now is the time to go inward to find what motivates you, what your values are, and what holds you back. When you do a deep self-inventory, you find your personal meaning and roadmap to success.
Understand the Why to Get to the How
You have to understand your why in order to create your how. Habits will be short-lived if you don’t have a true understanding of yourself and external motivation will only get you so far. Getting to know, the good, bad and ugly, will prepare you for becoming the person you know you can be.
If we want to make lasting changes in who we are we have to change the story. The power to change is determined by your mindset, your ability to accept what is true and the persistence in the pursuit of change.
Success is not only defined by achieving the end goal, but what you learn in the process of becoming. It is in the journey that we find out how strong we really are.
If you want to change your life, you have to change your story.
1. Start with your beliefs about yourself. Change the narrative you create about what you are capable of.
2. Stop holding yourself back. Stop blaming others or outside forces. Take ownership of your life.
3. Play to your strengths. Stop trying to fix bad habits. Work on making the good ones, better.
4. Reward the journey. It's about the process, not the outcome.
5. Explore past accomplishments and failures and reflect on how they have shaped who you are now.
6. Accept what you can control. Your mindset, behaviors and actions. Let everything else go.
7. Create your own definition of success. Stop worrying about what others are doing. Success has different meaning to different people, create your own roadmap to success.
8. Know your why to get to how. Why do you really want to accomplish a goals will help you dictate the how you will get there.
Congratulations, you survived 2020, now it's take to make the most out of 2021.